A poem for these days:
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”
—"Small Kindnesses," Danusha Laméris
By the way, I'm Bruce Cole, Publisher of Edible San Francisco. Welcome to all the new subscribers this week! If you'd like to hop off anytime, simply unsubscribe. I appreciate you reading (and sharing) this newsletter.
Here we go.
P.S. we’ve got a new end quote 👇
You’ve Got Mail: If you haven’t read Andrew Genung’s This Family Meal newsletter yet, a sharp, witty, and sometimes eviscerating take on the restaurant industry, we highly suggest you subscribe right here. Here’s an amuse-bouche from this weeks edition:
"The Endorsement – SF’s Dominique Crenn is putting her name behind (and presumably cashing fat checks from) a lab-cultured meat company. Per Janelle Bitker in the Chronicle: “San Francisco fine dining destination Atelier Crenn will likely be the first three Michelin-starred restaurant to serve cultured chicken, meat created by growing animal cells in a lab without any need for slaughter. Chef and owner Dominique Crenn has inked a deal with Berkeley’s Upside Foods, the food tech company formerly known as Memphis Meats, that is one of the leaders in the global cultured meat industry. As part of the partnership, Crenn will develop recipes and consult on all things culinary for Upside Foods — and serve the company’s first product, chicken breast, once it gains regulatory approval.”
Money quote: “When she took her first bite, Crenn said she thought, “This is it! This is the future of food,” she relayed in a statement.” SF Chronicle
🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄
Co-sign: “I’m not sure why we think chefs have so much wisdom about food systems/environment/farming etc. We elevate them due to talent in cooking & assume there is a depth of knowledge there about all things food-related.” Dawn Woodward on Twitter
Which Leads Us To: Where’s The Real Beef? In the latest issue, Rachel Levin looks into our assumption that locally produced grass-fed beef is not a factor in climate change. Levin interviewed UC Berkeley’s Paige Stanley, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, who notes: “It’s known that regenerative grazing can provide ecological benefits. Healthy soils that filter and help retain water, for example, can help maintain some level of productivity during extreme dry periods. But, when it comes to its’ impact on climate change the outcomes of a wider shift to regenerative production haven’t really been explored…there is not yet a lot of data west of the Mississippi.” Edible SF
Ok, Meat Me Halfway: Leader of the Reducetarian movement (those who are committed to eating less meat and dairy and fewer eggs), Brian Katema’s new documentary on why it’s so hard to convince people to eat less meat. Includes a Marion Nestle cameo: “Well I think you can eat a perfectly adequate diet and never eat meat at all. I don’t see anything wrong with that.” Watch the trailer.
Thar She Blows: Eating the whale, a personal history of meat. Harpers
Where There’s Smoke: Dairy cows are producing less milk due to smoke from west coast wildfires. The Counter
The Biophysicist Transforming Asparagus Into Medical Implants: Yep, you read that right. Inspired by the musical/film Little Shop of Horrors, biophysicist Andrew Pelling is looking to vegetables for answers in how to reconstruct damaged or diseased human tissues. Atlas Obscura
Nonalcoholic Wine: In case you’re wondering, would you even call it “wine” after the alcohol is removed? The Kitchn
Listen: Shanna Farrell on her new book, A Good Drink: In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits, which looks into the work of farmers, distillers, and bartenders who are seeking to reduce the environmental footprint of alcoholic beverages. KPFA
🎧 August Dinner Jams Playlist: ICYMI, this month’s list starts off with a hauntingly beautiful song from South Asian singer Arooj Aftab, plus new tunes from LP, Chicano Batman, Chet Faker, Yas, and Nas (with Lauryn Hill), and a throwback groove with Jurrasic 5, Erykah Badu, Outkast, The Roots, and more.
That’s all for this week.
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We’re outta here. Be well and take care,
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"Humans — despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistication, and their many accomplishments — owe their existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Anonymous